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CIM Nurtures Next Generation Of Academic Leaders With Future Of Music Faculty Fellowship

All Black and Latinx professionals exploring or beginning a career in musical academia are encouraged to apply by September 30.

The seats waiting for more Black and Latinx musicians aren't only on the concert stage. They're also in the boardroom, behind the podium and at the professor's desk.

Enter the Future of Music Faculty Fellowship (FMFF). An innovative effort now entering its second edition, the program seeks to develop new and more empowered generations of Black and Latinx administrators, teachers and other thought leaders. Applications for 2023 are being accepted now at

"The whole point is to make sure faculty know and understand the value of their perspective and have the tools to capitalize on that value," said Joan Maze, program manager and lead facilitator at the FMFF. "We have honest and impactful conversations about what it means to be Black or Latinx in the classical musical space."

The problem FMFF confronts is clear. According to recent data from the League of American Orchestras, Black musicians comprise less than two percent of orchestral players in the US. Similarly, Black and Latinx people combined constitute less than 17 percent of music faculty.

"For a lot of our fellows, this is the first time they've been in a room with other musicians and leaders who look like them," Maze said. "A lot of people have felt drawn to classical music but didn't see how their identity was or could be connected to it."

Indeed, connections are what the FMFF is all about, especially in its second year. In contrast to the fellowship's inaugural year, which took place virtually, the 2023 edition will be hybrid. It commences in person January 25-29 at the SphinxConnect conference in Detroit and ends in June with an in-person gathering at CIM.

In between come four virtual sessions with distinguished guests to be announced. Last year the slate included Wynton Marsalis, Angela Duckworth and Ronald Crutcher, former president of the University of Virginia. The names of keynote speakers for 2023 will be posted later this summer. A list of session titles and dates is available at The 2023 class also will be closer knit. This year, to maximize engagement, the FMFF will select just 12 to 15 scholars. As before, the program will be offered at no cost, with travel, lodging and other expenses covered.

"My experience in the inaugural class of FMFF was really illuminating," said violinist Alex Gonzalez, newly appointed to the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder. "In addition to connecting with many fantastic peers and colleagues, the program gave me the space to reflect on what I want to bring to the world of education. As I enter my new role as a professor, I feel more than prepared to empower the next generation of artists."

All Black and Latinx professionals exploring or beginning a career in musical academia are encouraged to apply by September 30 with a resume, two letters of recommendation, two written essays and a video essay. Maze also plans to conduct a free information session at 7pm (ET) Thursday, September 8. To register for that session, click here.

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